Terminology, Angry Settlers, and Refusal to Engage as Self-Care


Radical Resilience

Terminology and Angry Settlers

“I need to ask you something, because you’re … I mean, what do you refer to me as? What do you call me?”

This was the bait presented to me by a fellow student in an Indigenous issues course. I could tell this person wanted the conversation to go in this direction from their lead, because it had nothing to do with what the professor’s discussion question was. (The question was asking for alternative names to this place, the land, the place of the university, the class). They knew that I’m Indigenous, Kanien’kehá:ka, because I said it to them in the introduce-the-person-next-to-you icebreaker the week before.

I responded with, “white, or settler. Probably settler. I…” They got the answer they wanted, and they were obscenely offended, interrupting me with, “But I’m not the original settlers that came here and did those things.” Drawing from the conversations…

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